Harriet Manamela

Full / Real Name: Harriet Lehabe
Born: 13 October 1971 (52 years old)
Gender: Female



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Harriet Manamela is a South African actress best known for her starring role as Meikie Maputla in the SABC1 youth soapie Skeem Saam.

She also appeared in the 2006 mini-series When We Were Black.

Born in 1971 in Diepkloof, Manamela matriculated from St. Anthony's Centre in Boksburg.

She joined Squints Artists Community Theatre Group in Alexandra and performed in The Virus and Let's Talk About Aids at The Market Theatre Laboratory Annual Festival.

With The Market Theatre Laboratory drama school she performed in Broken Dreams, appeared in Theatre Sports for SABC3, toured Sweden with Gommorah, Koze Kuse Bash, Ways of Dying, Bozoli at The Market Theatre and The Grahamstown Arts Festival.

She also performed for the Young Writers Festival at The Market Theatre for two years.

Her television career started in 1998 with appearances in series such as Soul City, Isidingo, Yizo Yizo II, Justice For All II & III, Zero Tolerance, Soul Buddyz and Behind the Badge.

Films include Dr Lucille, Hijack Stories, Country of My Skull and Yesterday; as well as the lead in My Other Mother.

In 2013 she joined the soapie Rhythm City in the role of Nomzamo, Suffocate's alcoholic mother who has been drinking heavily for decades and uses alcohol as a coping mechanism.

She won a SAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in 2012 for her role in the film Life Above All and was nominated for a Vita award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the SABC3 soapie Isidingo.

In 2014 she had a starring role as Elizabeth Malinga, an optimist with strong moral values, but she's learnt not to trust the rich and their empty promises, in the SABC2 drama series Swartwater.

Also in 2014, she starred as Dieketseng Mofokeng, the sister of Dibuseng Makwarela (Nthati Moshesh), who is forced to help her sibling fight for her forgotten values, in the SABC2 thriller series Thola.

In the same year, she had a guest starring role in Episode 9 of the SABC1 docu-drama series Ngempela.

Harriet has appeared in numerous other television series including Intersexions, Sokhulu & Partners, The Lab, The Wild, Tjovitjo and Zone 14.

She was one of the original starring cast of Skeem Saam in the role of Meikie Maputla, debuting in the series premiere on her 40th birthday on 13 October, 2011.

Harriet took ill during filming of Season 12 of Skeem Saam in 2023 and was eventually placed on sick leave for an extended period of time, her last appearance coming on 5 April, 2024.

She was understudied in the role by Florence Masebe, who made her debut in Season 12 on 15 May, 2024.

Television Roles






Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Meikie Maputla

Ntombi Ntshebe

Defence Attorney (as Harriet Lehabe)

Thandeka Maponya

Thandeka Maponya

Elizabeth Malinga

Glory Laqhasha

Gladys Sedibe

Dieketseng Mofokeng

Dieketseng Mofokeng

Ausi Tshidi

Ausi Tshidi

Busi Dlamini




Lebo Mahlangu

Ma Calista

Aunt Felicia

Aunt Felicia


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